Tips on how to learn imperial system? 17 replies

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Silberio VIP Member

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9th October 2007

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#1 2 years ago

So yeah, I wanna learn the imperial system, in addition to metric which I know well.

I reeeeaaally don't want this to turn into a "metric/imperial is better than the other" because I literally don't give a shit which one is "better". To me, it's completely arbitrary when it comes to using it in everyday life. I mainly wanna learn since now, with my fiancee and all, I got way more contact with the American speaking part of the world, I want to be able to know when someone's estimating a measured value without having to pull up google and convert.

So yeah, is there like any way to quickly estimate imperial values through knowledge of metric? Or is it easier to just kinda learn imperial from scratch, separate from metric?


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Lindale Forum Mod

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#2 2 years ago

The best thing I know is to spend some time in England, immersion training, and all that.


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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#3 2 years ago
"Silberio"So yeah, is there like any way to quickly estimate imperial values through knowledge of metric?

Nope! ^_^




Lindale Forum Mod

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#4 2 years ago

Basically, Imperial goes back and forth between counting in base 12 and base 14. Metric is counting in base 10, which makes everything is much easier.

The odd thing is that Imperial was invented in England, but most choose to live in Metric. America is the only nation in the world who ONLY uses Imperial.


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Silberio VIP Member

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#5 2 years ago

Aren't there like 3 or 4 other countries that use it? I know it's still partially used in Chile.

But okay, so basically just using it until you learn it then? :lulz:


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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#6 2 years ago

Imperial is one of those things you learn by rote, yeah. I will say that imperial is a lot of use for quick day to day guesstimates becaus me it provides a nice range of common divisors. So one of the mor useful ways to learn it is in that capacity. 




book VIP Member

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#7 2 years ago

The imperial system can be nice because it is built around measurement using real life objects as a comparison.

A foot, generally speaking, is the length of your foot.

An inch, generally speaking is the length from your 2nd knuckle to the end of your finger.

A mile, generally speaking is about 1000 paces.

It's not a very good system for doing conversions and math, however it is a *practical* system for day to day life.

What this means for learning it, is that it can be easy, if you have a general 'sense' of the measurement, based on the real life basis for it.




Silberio VIP Member

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#8 2 years ago

"book"The imperial system can be nice because it is built around measurement using real life objects as a comparison.

A foot, generally speaking, is the length of your foot.

An inch, generally speaking is the length from your 2nd knuckle to the end of your finger.

A mile, generally speaking is about 1000 paces.

It's not a very good system for doing conversions and math, however it is a *practical* system for day to day life.

What this means for learning it, is that it can be easy, if you have a general 'sense' of the measurement, based on the real life basis for it.

This is sorta what I'd imagined. But how about weight? I feel those are a bit more abstract than distance, since for the latter you kinda got more of a visual cue.


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Lindale Forum Mod

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#9 2 years ago

Weight, each stone is 14 pounds. Say you weigh 168 pounds, you are 12 stones. So you are counting in base 14.

Length, each foot is 12 inches, so you are counting in base 12.

I very much disagree about that being practical for day to day use. With metric, you count in base 10 for everything, so that just makes sense.


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book VIP Member

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#10 2 years ago

The reason it's practical (for distance) is not because conversion is easy, or that all the systems use the same base. It's practical because they aren't based on abstract ideas that don't exist in the real world. 

Anyway I won't continue that argument. The best way to learn it is to time travel and teach yourself. 




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